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  Anambra’s tech putt: Catalyst for fast development

By Chuka Nnabuife

OME developments that initially, appear ordinary, eventually turn into catalysts and transformative magic wands at the culmination of time. In Anambra State, for instance, such a situation is budding.

 All things being equal, the mission to make Anambra a technology (tech) hub and the state’s conscious effort to bring credibility to governance and integrity in politics may be the craved smart move that would yield a resourceful government-and-subjects’ alliance that could likely open up the land to an unprecedented fast and multifaceted socio-economic development.   

  Today, Thursday, December 1, 2022, will go down in the annals of Anambra State for a massive youth engagement project and outstanding feat in general employment.

  The state hands over employment letters to 5,000 newly engaged teachers at the newly built International Convention Centre (ICC), Awka.

The young teachers are those who succeeded in a recently conducted two-phased computer-based tests (CBT) which the state government staged in the second quarter of this year. Upon collecting their letters of employment, the teachers will promptly assume duty in all the 21 local councils of the state.

  Never had the state done such a large scale employment of youths let alone enlist teachers in such a number within her 31 years of existence. More important, however, is what the process of recruitment of the young teachers portends.

Beyond establishing the government of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo as sure-footed and trustworthy for fulfilling its promise to the populace, the mass recruitment portends a lot more.

Viewed deeply, it bodes a lot for the state’s larger economic advancement, and can foster direly needed social harmony.

  Given the maxim, train the teacher and enlighten a nation, the engagement of appropriately educated, IT-literate young teachers raises, obvious hope of sowing seeds of transformative revolution through computer-based education.

The initiative ensures that even in the most interior hinterlands of the state the will be digitisation and modernisation. 

It assures the upbringing of a confident generation of children, groomed in computer-based inductions in the basic schools across the state.

The availability of teachers who are very knowledgeable and adept in digital system, would, no doubt, lead to the emergence of a future generation of Anambra citizens and residents who will be comfortable with contemporary as well as well-equipped to embrace the new world of today and tomorrow with ‘fit and proper’ ideological and operational tools.

  But there are more gains inherent in the process of recruitment of the new teachers which smartly goes a long way to rekindle the people’s hope in society.

For a section of the youth who may have thought that the era of getting employments by merit in Nigeria is over the manner of announcing and filling the vacancies put a lie to the presumption.

The process which many skeptics thought, impossible, required that applicants applied freely through a published internet link and waited for their invitation to sit for the CBT exercise.

After the test, successful and unsuccessful candidates instantly knew their fate, and got notified later of the next action to take.

There was no space for godfathers, godmothers, professional job vendors or scammers to intervene and lobby for candidates. Hence, those who qualified academically and passed the CBT scaled through, on merit, and got the jobs.

  When the process debuted, Gov. Soludo established that his goal is to get well qualified and digitally adept teachers to teach in Anambra schools.

He emphasised that the guiding principle in the process of selection is merit because, as he observed, there are many basic schools in Anambra that lack qualified teachers let alone those with IT literacy.

He made it clear that there will be no window for even him or any intermediary to influence the results and eventual employments. Indeed, that did not go down well with people who were used to a different approach.

Hence the Ministry of Education which organised the recruitment passed through hell, in the forms of public opprobrium, defamation and arm-twisting, during the recruitment process.

At the heat of the intense period, Commissioner for education, Ngozi Chuma-Ude condemned the frenetic attacks on government “for just insisting on doing the right thing for Anambra State.”

  Prof. Chuma-Ude, however, maintained that the mission must be accomplished. In her words: “The era of unqualified and ill – equipped teachers is over in Anambra State. We can go nowhere with such teachers handling our children”.

  Notwithstanding, the challenges in the build–up to this feat, the end has obviously justified the means.

The issue is as much evident of good economic thinking as it is a smart move to reclaim the increasingly disenchanted youths from their wallow in distrust to reasons to believe in their land and work hard to lift it.

  More incentives coming in this direction from Anambra State government raise hopes higher. Over 5,000 youths who are currently undergoing training on technical skills across the state will graduate from their programs by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

Gov. Soludo, while addressing stakeholders of his party, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) on Sunday disclosed that the young ones who will be out of training in March 2023, will receive support and seed money to prop them up in their start-up businesses.

  He also informed that his government had evolved a plan to enroll Anambra women in co-operative societies that will make it easier to capture them in development programs.

Whilst there are ongoing efforts to digitalise land registry in the state to make owning of landed property easier and encourage ease – of – doing – business in the State.

He added that his government is keen on making Anambra a “hub of technology “  and a state where there will be “24 – hour electricity supply.

  These, along with the state’s declaration of a “state of emergency on roads and infrastructure” and zestful push to ensure security and order irrespective of the heady activity of bandits, underscore a commitment to making Anambra a land of ease-in-business and multi-pronged socio-economic development.

The governor also explained the state’s serious drive for taxes and internally generated revenue (IGR) as a difficult terrain that must be plied given the state of the economy and the huge responsibilities to shoulder.

“What we have promised ndi Anambra is that every kobo you give to us, we must show what we do with it”, explained Prof. Soludo.

  He added that given the purse and the daunting task currently facing the State, his government had set itself on a philosophy of getting more value for every expense and going infrastructure of durable standard.

We will make sure we have value for money. We cut all wastes and avoidable expenses”, the governor said. Put together, all the developments establish a visionary government that understands that difficult decisions have to be taken provided they would lead to a better society.

The higher possibility of realising the vision of a fast–developing Anambra State that is a tech hub is foreseeable given the projects the governor has so far disclosed.

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